Inside every tooth there are fine canals that contain dental pulp, consisting of nerves and blood vessels. If your dental pulp dies or is diseased, the root canal will become infected and a toothache and abscess occur.
There are a few contributing factors that cause pulp death, including:
Tooth fracture or a crack in the tooth
What you need to know
The process of root canal treatment includes removing the infected pulp, cleaning out and disinfecting the canal and sealing it with a filling. A small rubber sheet called a rubber dam will be used to isolate the tooth during treatment. This treatment is usually done in stages over multiple appointments (usually 2-3) depending on the specific tooth being treated.
Although your tooth will be restored in the end, if there is significant loss of tooth structure the dentist may recommend a crown to protect the tooth from further damage.
Root canal treatment is carried out by a dentist, however in more complex situations you can be referred to an endodontist specialist.
Appointments can be 60-90 minutes for each appointment needed and your dentist will check in with you throughout your appointment and offer rests when possible.
It is normal to feel some tenderness after receiving root canal treatment and you can manage this with a pain relief option that works best for you. It is best to avoid eating chewy or hard foods for a few days following your appointment and be sure to maintain high oral hygiene habits at home.